The days and weeks seem to be pass at an incredible rate. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s important to make time in your daily schedule to focus on living your best life. Or perhaps you’ve been battling an illness—anything from the flu to metastatic breast cancer—that is leaving you especially worn out by the end of the day. Here are 16 super-doable ways to slow down, simplify your life, and feel better—starting right now—creating a daily routine for a healthy body and mind.
Go Green: A potted plant can help you be more productive, feel less stressed, and literally breathe easier by improving your indoor air quality. Consider adding a lady palm, rubber plant, golden pothos, peace lily, or syngonium to your home environment. Keep in mind the bigger the plant’s leaves, the more air quality improvement it can provide. Get the largest plant your space will allow and set it wherever you spend the most time to add more productivity to your daily routine.
Let There Be Light: Brighter spaces = a happier you. Three of four corners in a room should be illuminated with a table lamp or floor lamp. Tweak the wattage in each lamp so it delivers the right amount of light; the darker the zone, the more wattage you need. Considering purchasing an adjustable LED bulb so you can set your bedside lamp to a warmer shade to help you wind down at night.
Open the Windows: Weather permitting, leave one or two windows open for a bit to reduce indoor air pollutants and refresh your home's air supply. If the weather is nice, you may even consider stepping outside—to enjoy your lunch break or walk to the mailbox—to get a breath of fresh air as part of your daily routine for a healthy life.
Color Play: Colors can have an effect on our mood, so surround yourself with colors that make you happy. Recreate the palette of a place that holds fond memories, whether it's your childhood bedroom, a country cottage, or a vacation destination.
Eat Healthy: The key to healthy daily routines that stick: Pick a plan that works for you. Getting more veggies, keeping portions in check, and tracking what you eat are secrets to success. Aim to have five different colors of produce every day—an apple, a banana, some Swiss chard, blueberries, and a sweet potato, for example. You'll fill up on good-for-you produce, leaving less room for junk food.
Become a Smooth(ie) Operator: Done right, a smoothie can give you a big dose of nutrients in a glass and aid in a healthy morning routine. The trick to making smoothies healthy is to focus on increasing the veggies. Use non-starchy vegetables like kale, spinach, Swiss chard, or lettuce, then add a little fruit for sweetness and some protein like low-fat Greek yogurt to keep you satisfied.
Redefine Exercise: Think outside the gym session and find ways to take your daily activity levels up a notch. Get out there and build a snowman with the kids, sign up for a charity car wash, or simply walk more briskly as you do errands. It all counts toward your goal of 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Don’t be afraid to try a new fitness class or the latest workout craze.
Keep Fitness Front-of-Mind: If you truly want to commit to a daily routine for good health, make it simple to choose fitness. Stash a rolled-up yoga mat and resistance bands near your couch where they're visible—a reminder that you can do daily activities like stretching or strength training anytime.
Take a Mindful Minute: Meditation helps take the edge off stress and can even help you make better decisions. Don't think you're the sit-still-and-breathe type? Try the free app Calm, which gives you guided meditation sessions that last anywhere from 2 to 30 minutes so you decide how to fit it into your daily schedule.
Create a No-Tech Zone: Never unplugging can leave you frazzled and fatigued, but there's an easy way to take a tech break: Wear a watch. Many people check the time on their phones but then get caught up in social media.
Accentuate the Positive: If you tell yourself you can, you will. Carve a few minutes out of your daily schedule to physically or mentally jot down positive affirmations—about yourself or something you have accomplished or how you contribute to the world around you.
Strike the Right Chord: Music can be a beautiful influence on our lives. Whether you tune into your favorite digital music station or sit down to play piano yourself, listening to music can have a calming effect. Lyrics can be inspirational. And having the right playlist while you exercise can help keep you on track.
Streamline Mornings: Work to simplify your routine. Make every day like the first day of school and pick out what you're going to wear the night before. Hang a special hook to hold your outfit or just take a few minutes to map it out mentally. Starting your day with a morning routine checklist will set you up for a successful day.
Give Your Purse a Makeover: Never again frantically search for your keys, phone, or wallet by having a system and sticking to it. Use bags within your bag—pick up a few small see-through pouches and assign each one a category: makeup, snacks, writing utensils, and more. Put your keys and phone inside their own inside pockets, and dedicate an interior pocket for glasses or shades.
Read a Book: It doesn’t matter if its self-help, romance, mystery, or a young adult novel, pick up a book. Reading allows us to learn something new or escape the stresses of our own lives. Whether you carve out time at the end of your day or dedicate your time in the car to listening to audiobooks, make reading part of your daily activities.
Get Some Game: A little friendly competition may be just what you need to shake up your daily routine. Instead of stashing family games away, store them in sight—hopefully somewhere between you and the TV remote. Stack boardgames and fun-starters like dominoes or playing cards below your coffee table and set aside an evening for family game night.
Related: 10 No-Fail Purse Organization Tips